Women's basketball beats Panthers, on to NESCAC Final Four

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- For the second straight year, the Colby College women's basketball team will crash the NESCAC Final Four party as the fifth seed after a thrilling 48-39 win over fourth-seeded Middlebury College on Saturday.

The Mules (13-11 overall) also were the fifth seed last year and knocked off Connecticut College. Colby went on to fall to Tufts University in a semifinal game.

Colby will play at top-seeded and top-ranked Amherst College at 2 p.m. next Saturday in a semifinal contest. Tufts and Bowdoin College will play in the other semifinal at 4 p.m. The title game will be played Sunday at noon at Amherst.

MK Caverly had a game-high 18 points, including a 5-for-5 effort from the foul line in the fourth quarter to lead the Mules. Caverly also had a team-high nine rebounds, two steals, and one blocked shot.

Haley Driscoll, who missed last Saturday's regular season finale with an injury, was back and finished with 12 points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Ainsley Burns added seven points, while Katie McCrum had four points, four rebounds, three assists, and a blocked shots.

The game was tied for the seventh time in the fourth quarter when Middlebury's Catherine Harrison scored inside to make it a 32-32 game with 7:20 on the clock. Colby followed with a 7-0 run to go up 39-33 on a nice inside move from Emily Davis. A Middlebury free throw ended the run before Caverly drove to her right and converted a three-point play to make it a 42-34 game with 1:24 remaining.

Davis answered for the Panthers on the other end, breaking a streak of 10-straight misses from the field for the home team. Middlebury was forced to foul down the stretch, but 4-for-4 free-throw shooting from Caverly put her team up 46-36 with 47 seconds remaining. Driscoll made both of her field goals, scored six points, and had a pair of rebounds in the final 10 minutes.

The Mules held Midddlebury (17-8) to just 26.8 percent shooting from the field and 13.6 percent (3-of-22) from long range. The Panthers did have a 43-31 rebounding advantage.

The Panthers, who took a 64-49 overtime win at home over Colby in the regular season, received 13 points and 12 rebounds from Harrison. 

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